When you’re a kid, Santa’s everything. You make your lists, put out cookies, and hoped you’ve been good enough for all the awesome toys that year. Ritual was the essence of keeping the magic alive, right down to the resistance to sleep on Christmas eve. We hoped it’d snow and sometimes it would. Christmas was filled with family and friends. The food was awesome. Time seemed endless. The entire year led up to this one day.
And then we grew up. The full tree became a tabletop. Decorating was a pain in the neck. People partnered and some moved away. Cookies and chocolate did have calories, we found out. Santa, sadly, was just a fake fat guy.
For me, there was one tradition that was always steadfast: Christmas pajamas. Even before I knew that Santa wasn’t real, my mother always gave me new winter-themed pajamas to wear the night before Christmas through Christmas Day. Of course, usually flannel or footed and decorated with jingle bells or whatever, I’d wear them throughout the cold Massachusetts winter until the start of spring.
While, I knew that entire families wore matching Christmas PJs, I was always solo. But was I the only one? I did a very unscientific poll amongst Facebook friends: Did anyone else get Christmas PJs — actually on Christmas? Forty-seven friends responded, yes, they gave (or received) new pajamas to their kids, siblings—even a few dogs—yearly at Christmas time. For the majority, the exchange happened on Christmas eve. Just like me.
For Jennifer, her family exchanged Lanz nightgowns…
Lanz Flannel Nightgown
Liz has been doing it so long—and she keeps them. (“I have so many pairs now, it’s nuts!”)
Billy’s whole family does their thing on Thanksgiving, including the dog!
Matching Dog Pajamas
There’s a reason the Christmas pajamas thing works. Firstly, when can you match clothing with your adult relatives any other time without looking like a complete psycho? Also, not everyone can bond by marching out into the wintry woods to chop down a Christmas tree. (And not get arrested?) And not all of us extensively bake. Or sing. Or dance. Or have some grand pageant to take part in.
So it’s either drinking or Christmas PJs. Or both.
Besides, of all that’s lost over the years, isn’t it great to keep one tradition alive? After all, no one can gift us better sleep, a sense of purpose, and a lower APR. Santa’s not coming down your chimney, Elf on the Shelf doesn’t move in the night, the money raised from “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” and Live Aid never made it to starving Ethiopians (It’s true—look it up!), so truly…of all that’s woefully lost, let’s keep this one alive.
And don’t forget your dog!